Creating an Uninhabitable Home for Silverfish
What are silverfish?
Silverfish are an extremely common pest in the homes in the Metro Vancouver area. These grey or silver-colored insects are narrow and long, about 1-2cm in length. They have long antennas that wiggle in a fish-like fashion when they move. Silverfish move very quickly. Because they are mostly nocturnal, you may have seen them scampering away into cracks when you flip the light switch on.
Why are silverfish so common in the Lower Mainland area?
Whether you are moving into Vancouver for the first time, or have been living here for a long time, it is known that Vancouver is dark and moist for many months during the year. Our living conditions are especially favourable to silverfish. Silverfish can easily be found in the bathrooms, baseboards, closets, basements, or attics. The good news is that silverfish usually do not do much damage to our physical health. However, they can contaminate foods. They can also damage things such as books, paper bags, and other paper items.
Your neighbor may have silverfish, but you don’t have to adopt them when you move in Vancouver
It is a common worry that your neighbours’ pests will invade your home, but this can be easily prevented. Right after moving to your new home in Vancouver, there are various things you can do to make sure your home is uninhabitable to these critters.
Even though silverfish can live up to a year without food, they require a high humidity environment to survive. The biggest thing you can do to prevent silverfish is to control humidity in your home. To keep your new home dry and low in humidity, consider getting a dehumidifier. Think about the direction of where your house is facing, and which parts of the house will get more sun during the day. Usually, a south-facing room will get the more light during the day. It is advisable to keep your windows ajar, pulling curtains back if possible. Keeping areas well ventilated will help very much to keep these pests away.
Eliminate and repair any leaky pipes or drains, and always wring out your wet rags, sponges, and clothes well before hanging them to dry. Also consider the layout of your house and furnishings: arrange your furniture to not block windows or the end of corridors. Keeping the air flowing inside the house will also help with lowering humidity.
Another step you can take is to eliminate any food sources that can be openly accessed. You can do this by keeping them in air-tight containers. Look in your basement or attic for things silverfish can feed off of. Silver fish are especially attracted to eating paper and damp clothing. They also feed off of glue and many types of fabric. Some examples of items they may eat in your basement and attic areas are tapestries, wallpaper, dead insects, and even unopened food. It is best to get rid of these items and clean your areas free of bugs.